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Living in San Bruno – Complete Guide 🌄 | What to Know Before Moving to San Bruno CA

Living in San Bruno – Complete Guide 🌄 | What to Know Before Moving to San Bruno CA

Last Updated on: 11th January 2024, 10:00 am

Has living in San Bruno sparked your interest? San Bruno is a populous Mateo County city located in Northern California; it’s known as the airport city due to its proximity to the San Francisco International Airport. Some refer to San Bruno as Trench Town, though there is no definitive answer as to how this nickname caught on or why it stuck.

Before San Bruno was a bustling San Francisco suburb, the Ohlone Indians inhabited the land. Captain Bruno Heceta explored and founded San Francisco Bay in 1775; however, it wasn’t incorporated as an official city until December 23, 1914. San Bruno was named after Mount San Bruno, which Captain Bruno Heceta also founded. The city remained small and rural until the 1940s, but two historical events changed the trajectory of San Bruno’s development. Including the US Army utilizing the TanForan horse track during WWII and George Williams’ purchase of the Mills Land.

Living in San Bruno is good for many reasons! Firstly, it has a diverse racial and ethnic makeup. It’s also an affluent place to live; the median household income is $117,747, or $48,726 higher than the national average. The crime rate is also relatively low, which is impressive considering its proximity to such a large city (San Francisco.)

Where Is San Bruno California?

San Bruno is located in Mateo County, California, south of San Francisco; It’s 12 miles from San Bruno to San Francisco. San Bruno is also part of the San Francisco Bay Area, but it’s not a part of the city of San Francisco. Millbrae and Pacifica border San Bruno.

The city of San Bruno provides an array of public transportation options.

Getting around San Bruno is easy and affordable with top-notch public transportation services!

San Bruno Population & Demographics

Although the population of San Bruno is impressive (41,533), the city has seen a 5.4% population decrease since 2010. Considering California saw a 138,400-person population decrease in 2022, seeing a dip in San Bruno’s population isn’t surprising. San Bruno, CA, still has the 5th highest population in Mateo County.

One of San Bruno’s most attractive attributes is its racial and ethnic makeup! 37.1% is White (27.9% white, non-Hispanic or Latino), 27.8% Hispanic or Latino, 34.4% Asian, 9.4% two or more races, 3.6% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 1.3% Black or African American, and 0.2% Native American or Alaska Native. San Bruno has a foreign-born population of 37.9%; you can expect a diverse group of neighbors when living in San Bruno. San Bruno, San Francisco is also highly educated; 89.5% have high school diplomas, and 42.8% have bachelor’s degrees or higher (around 80% the rate of its metro area.)

Additional San Bruno, CA demographics: 

  • Median household income: $117,747 (US $69,021)
  • Sex ratio: 50 females to 50 males
  • Veteran population: 3.5%
  • Median age: 39.1 years old
  • Number of housing units: 16,194
  • Owner-occupied: 61%
  • Renter-occupied: 39%

Notable people:

Is San Bruno Safe?

San Bruno is a safe area to live! According to the FBI, the San Bruno crime rate is 2,414 per 100k people, California’s is 2,581 per 100k people, and the US’s is 2,346 per 100k people. San Bruno has a lower crime rate than California, by 6.5%, and a higher crime rate than the US, by 2.9%.

Additional crime rate statistics:

  • San Bruno violent crime rate per 100k people: 233
  • California violent crime rate per 100k people: 442
  • US violent crime rate per 100k people: 388

San Bruno’s violent crime rate is 47.3% lower than the state and 39.9% lower than the country.

  • San Bruno property crime rate per 100k people: 2,182
  • California property crime rate per 100k people: 2,139
  • US property crime rate per 100k people: 1,958

San Bruno’s property crime rate is 2.0% higher than the state and 11.4% higher than the country.

San Bruno’s crime rate is lower than the state average, and violent crime isn’t common here, making it a very safe place to call home! You can accredit San Bruno’s impressive crime statistics to the San Bruno Police Department—-there are 42 sworn officers dedicated to protecting the citizens. Notable arrests are often made, thanks to the department’s hard work!

Cost of Living in San Bruno CA

San Bruno is 54% more expensive than the average US state; its Cost of Living Index (COLI) is 154, and the housing index here is 130% higher than the US average. Housing is the most significant cost here, but utilities are also 32% higher, and groceries are 31% higher. 

Before moving anywhere, it’s important to analyze the cost of living compared to where you currently live—ensure your income can support your lifestyle in a new city. To save you some time, we’ve done the research for you! The Economic Policy Institute says a family of four should earn an annual income of $172,888 to live comfortably in Mateo County, CA.

Housing should cost you around $48,029 a year; the median home price in San Bruno is $905,000, and the market is competitive! Homes typically receive seven offers and sell within 19 days. The median price per square foot has increased 1.1% and now sits at $882. Although the market is pricey, the San Bruno homes for sale are all beautiful (and boast a great location.) You should start your search soon; these properties are going fast!

The rental market is just as competitive as the San Bruno real estate market, but for many, it’s still the most affordable option. 39% of housing units are rentals, which is likely due to the high home prices. The average rent in San Bruno, according to RentCafe, is $3,159 for a 830 square foot unit. The US average rent for an 897-square-foot rental is $1,702.

Some other factors to consider when living in San Bruno are grocery costs, taxes, utilities, etc.

Typical living expenses in San Bruno*:

  • Inexpensive restaurant meal: $25.00
  • Gallon of milk: $6.19
  • Pound of white rice: $3.17
  • Dozen eggs: $6.04
  • Pound of local cheese: $10.25
  • Average San Bruno utilities per month: $431 (per Doxo)

Source: Numbeo.

*Although some figures are for San Francisco, you can expect similar prices when living in San Bruno.

San Bruno Neighborhoods | Where to Live in San Bruno

Here are the best neighborhoods in San Bruno!

Downtown San Bruno | Ideal for Young Adults

If you’re a young adult looking for a lively place to stake your claim, Downtown San Bruno is the place to be. This quaint neighborhood is located between Huntington Avenue and El Camino Real in the city’s downtown area. It’s great for young adults because there are countless bars, restaurants, and shops to explore! When living in the neighborhood, you can access diverse career opportunities, proximity to inner-city convenience, and a lively urban lifestyle!

Portola | Family-Friendly San Bruno Neighborhood

Portola provides ideal Surburburbia living and a great school district for your children. Little Forest Explorers, Highlands Christian Schools, and Portola Elementary School are among the schools serving Portola. There is a neighborhood park providing plenty of greenery for your children and pets to run around, and you’re still plenty close to the lively downtown San Bruno.

Although homes are expensive (around one million dollars), If you’re looking for a peaceful, charming neighborhood that’s safe for your family, look to the Western Hills of San Bruno; you’ll find lovely Portola and its many homes for sale!

Mills Park

Mills Park is one of San Bruno’s most established neighborhoods. The homes were built in the 1940s and 50s and boast a funky, vintage design. Whether Spanish, Colonial, or Contemporary is your style, Mills Park has the options to accommodate you. The neighborhood is positioned just minutes from San Bruno City Park and has plenty of sidewalk and yard space to satisfy a child or dog’s recreational needs. If you want a laid-back lifestyle, consider this San Bruno neighborhood!

Additional pros are:

  • Proximity to public transit, including BART and Caltrain
  • Sidewalks for your children
  • Many parks, restaurants, and leisure facilities are located nearby

Overall, Mills Park is a great neighborhood in San Bruno to consider.

San Bruno Weather & Climate

San Bruno has a Koopen classification of mild Mediterranean climate, which is described as mild, warm, dry summers and cool, damp winters; the summers are long, and the winters are short. Temperatures stay comfortable year-round, ranging from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. It rarely drops below 38 or goes above 81. The Bay Area is more humid than most of California and is sometimes compared to Florida due to its high humidity levels. 

San Bruno only sees an average annual rainfall of 21 inches and 0 inches of snowfall yearly. The most humid month is January, with a daily average of 88%; October is the least humid at 71%. The best time to visit San Bruno is late June to early October; you can soak in the sunshine, enjoy some warm weather activities, and skip the humidity!

Things to Do in San Bruno

San Bruno boasts great shopping (like The Shops at Tanforan and the San Bruno Towne Center) alongside its various attractions and things to do!

San Bruno City Park

This is one of the best San Bruno Parks in the whole city; San Bruno City Park is dog-friendly, home to various sports fields and playgrounds, and provides a great place for your children to play.

251 City Park Way, San Bruno, CA 94066, (650) 616-7180

San Bruno Golf Center

San Bruno Golf Center is the perfect driving range in the Bay Area to practice your swing! Whether it’s boys’ night, date night, or family night, you’ll be satisfied with your visit.

2101 Sneath Ln, San Bruno, CA 94066, (650) 952-1901

Artichoke Joe’s Casino

Artichoke Joe’s is a lively casino, bar, and restaurant that’s been in business for over 100 years. This is one of the best things to do in San Bruno!

659 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066, (650) 589-8812

Additional Attractions in and Near San Bruno

The San Bruno Park and Recreation Department maintains the lovely parks in San Bruno. The department ensures the city remains tight-knit and family-friendly by often hosting fun events throughout the city; you can browse these events on their special events calendar.

San Bruno Restaurants

From diner food to authentic Mexican cuisine, San Bruno offers countless options from varying cultures! Here are the best restaurants in San Bruno!

Jacks San Bruno

This lively breakfast joint serves bar food, American classics, and various pasta dishes!

1050 Admiral Ct Suite A, San Bruno, CA 94066, (650) 589-2222

Taqueria San Bruno

Taqueria is one of the best restaurants in San Bruno. Indulge in traditional Mexican cuisine amid a house marg at this authentic Mexican restaurant!

1045 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066, (650) 873-1752


If you’re not in the mood for American or Mexican cuisine, Mazra can satisfy your craving. This notable San Bruno restaurant serves up decadent, must-try Greek dishes. 

504 San Bruno Ave W, San Bruno, CA 94066, (650) 225-9027

San Bruno Jobs

Before moving to San Bruno, let’s take a closer look at its economy. San Bruno has a strong economy that’s only growing stronger; the city has seen a 1.3% job market increase since 2022 and is projected to see a 36.5% increase in job growth by 2033. The unemployment rate here is 0.5% below the US average. It’s important to note that San Bruno’s taxes are high; the sales tax rate is 1.5% above the US average, and the income tax rate is 4.7% above the US average.

However, the average hourly rate in San Bruno is $25.17, and the average base salary is $101,000. 58.1% of people living in San Bruno earn $100,000 or more. Below are common professions and what they earn.

Job Title Average Hourly Wage
Human Resources (HR) Assistant $23
Office Manager $29
Registered Nurse (RN) $52

The largest industries in San Bruno are health care & social assistance, retail trade, and professional, scientific, & technical services. Walmart Global eCommerce, YouTube, the City of San Bruno, and Skyline College are some of San Bruno’s largest employers.

While we understand how frustrating job hunting can be in a new city, you can take comfort in knowing plenty of jobs in San Bruno are awaiting your application! Whether you’re hoping to score your dream job at YouTube’s headquarters, or you’re a passionate public servant more interested in the city of San Bruno jobs, this growing town has plenty of opportunities.

San Bruno Schools

If you’re considering moving to San Bruno and have children or plan to advance your education, it’s important to look into its school district and nearby colleges! San Bruno is part of the San Bruno Park School District; there are seven schools in the district. The district’s mission statement is to empower all students who attend its schools by providing social and emotional support.

Their core values are:

  • The whole child
  • Accountability
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Respect
  • Ethical behavior
  • Innovation and creativity

San Bruno doesn’t just boast a school system that values adolescent students; the city is also near notable colleges; the University of California San Francisco and San Francisco State University are less than 10 miles north! If you happen to require a quiet place to study, the San Bruno Library is a great option. The library offers virtual tutors for all ages, a homework center, in-person storytimes, and even student success courses; you can keep track of their many programs with their special events calendar.

San Bruno Statistics & Information

  • County: Mateo County
  • San Bruno area: 5.49 square miles
  • San Bruno zip code: 94066
  • San Bruno area code: 650
  • San Bruno elevation: 41 feet
  • San Bruno time zone: Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-7)
  • Closest airport to San Bruno: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)  is 3.3 miles from San Bruno

San Bruno CA Map

Explore more things to do with this map of San Bruno!

If you’re interested in moving to San Bruno, we think you have the right idea. San Bruno is a wealthy area with a great economy and diverse population. There are a handful of great neighborhoods, and the crime rate is low—what more could you want from your new home? When you’re ready to transition, call AMS Relocations at 650-284-2931 for a free estimate! We’re the best San Bruno movers, and we’re ready to help!


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